Our Father – Discovering Family, written by Dr. Mitch Carnell began with a moving experience in London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral. He and his wife, Carol, stood in that magnificent place one morning and prayed along with people, as he points out, “from around the world; of every race, creed, religion, nationality, male, female, child, adult, gay and straight” the “Our Father” prayer, or as we may know it, “The Lord’s Prayer.” In that place at that time Mitch gained a new and deeper understanding of what “Our” really means which he shares throughout his book. Mitch’s experience in St. Paul’s Cathedral reminds one of the event involving a large group of first century Christians when the Holy Spirit came upon them. There were people from every nation and tribe in that part of the world; all speaking their native language, but all saying the same thing. (Acts 2:11-2)
Our Father – Discovering Family is the story of Mitch Carnell’ physical and spiritual journey in which he discovers family, God’s family. It is a journey that began in a small mill-town in up-state South Carolina and took him to a position as Director of the Speech and Hearing Center in Charleston, South Carolina. Brought up in a Christian home with Christian parents he is open and honest as he discloses personal triumphs and heartaches and the lessons learned from them. His wit, sense of humor, intellect, and insight are revealed as he shares some of the challenges of having very poor eyesight and lighter than average skin color. His faith and total trust and belief in The God of Creation is evident in the way he tackles reality following the deaths of his father, mother and first wife Liz, in a period of less than two and a half years. Through the mountains and valleys of his journey Mitch shares how God continues to reveal himself through day to day events.
Our Father – Discovering Family is a book that challenges our sometimes narrow view of how God works in our lives and how potential stumbling blocks can become stepping stones. The book is a reminder that we pray “Our Father,” not “My Father,” and that “Our Father” is Father to everyone he created no matter what the differences.
In his book Dr. Mitch Carnell provides a stimulus to continue to seek God’s plan for our lives regardless of the season. To see God in the ordinary and not so ordinary events of our lives is a challenge presented to readers of this book.
A Review by Patricia B. Ezell
Associate Dean (retired)
College of Graduate and Professional Studies